I'm running openSuse 13.2. In the config file, /etc/rsnapshot.conf.default, there is the following entry:

snapshot_root /.snapshots/

rsnapshot has never been run. Yet in /.snapshots there are a number of directories with what looks to be snapshots.

The system also has snapper installed. I believe it is configured to run periodically and that the directories in /.snapshots were created by it.

I'm wondering why rsnapshot would list the same directory by default, as this is confusing.

BTW, snapper is not intended for system backups but rather for restoring the system after a corruption or misconfiguration rather than, say, the loss of a partition.

1 Answer 1


I use rsnapshot-1.4.1 and install it manually from the tar.gz source by doing

make install

By default it will install a template rsnapshot.conf.default file under /usr/local/etc/ and the rsnapshot perl script under /usr/local/bin/

you need to do 2 things regarding the configuration file:

cp /usr/local/etc/rsnapshot.conf.default   /usr/local/etc/rsnapshot.conf

the /usr/local/bin/rsnapshot perl executable looks specify for /usr/local/etc/rsnapshot.conf

then edit /usr/local/etc/rsnapshot.conf

the snapshot_root you should almost always modify to suit your system. In my case below, the /bkup folder is another hard drive mounted to the system. Set permissions on the /bkup folder appropriately, or whatever the name of that folder may be for you. Then under that "bkup" folder it is recommended to make a folder such as "private" that is owned by root having permissions 0700.

If you wish users to access the backup, then do a read-only nfs export of /bkup/private to localhost. Then nfs mount it via

mount localhost:/bkup/private /backup

then the folder /backup will be protected from modification because of the forced read-only nfs export and mount, and users will recognize the full name of "backup" easier.

highlights of my rsnapshot.conf file, I back up 3 folders non-incremental:

snapshot_root   /bkup/private/
no_create_root  1
cmd_cp          /bin/cp
retain  daily   1
logfile /var/log/rsnapshot

# remove the --delete-excluded from rsync_long_args
# this is so rsnapshot NEVER deletes anything it has backed up

rsync_long_args         --numeric-ids --relative

# hostname of this system is jupiter

backup  /info/          jupiter/
backup  /home/          jupiter/
backup  /data/          jupiter/
  • I appreciate the remarks about NFS. One might want to check out the security implications of serving a private backup such that any client on the network can access it. I'm still wondering at the default rsnapshot backup location (/.snapshots/) being the same as that used by snapper. Feb 2, 2016 at 20:31
  • regarding NFS share of the backup, yes you can share that out over the network but i was referring to restricting that export to "localhost". Therefore the backup could only be mounted by the same system via and as read-only (provided you make the export read-only).
    – ron
    Feb 3, 2016 at 20:11
  • regarding the default snapshot_root /.snapshots/ that can be any location. i suspect it's coincidence that it is the same syntax used by snapper. For rsnapshot i don't think it cares if anything else uses that directory, it just needs a valid place to write to. it would be up to you as an admin to control the mess of what is written where.
    – ron
    Feb 3, 2016 at 20:13

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